Richmond’s appeal could soon be widened thanks to the A1 upgrade and designer shops. Sharon Dale reports.
The Georgian market town of Richmond has always attracted buyers from outside the area thanks to its ravishing good looks and proximity to the Yorkshire Dales and to the A1, which is 4.5 miles away.
Now the number of “off cummed ‘uns” looks set to grow when work on upgrading the Leeming to Scotch Corner stretch of the A1 from two lanes to three lanes completes at the end of this year. Richard Thompson, of Marcus Alderson estate agents, thinks that faster journey times will tempt buyers in Yorkshire’s Golden Triangle to spread their net further north and he could be right.
Bedale has seen an uplift in interest since the Dishforth to Leeming upgrade brought the A1M to its doorstep. The extra lane has made journey times 20 per cent faster.
“We have one buyer who says the upgrade should cut 15 minutes off her drive from Richmond to Knaresborough and you will be able to get to Leeds in an hour,” says Richard, who adds that the proposed designer outlet village at Scotch Corner should also boost property sales. The £50m project won planning approval in December last year.
Norman Brown, founder of Norman F. Brown estate, who lives in Richmond, agrees. “If it comes off then it will bring more people into the town and they will see its appeal. Richmond was named one of the best places to live in Britain recently and I’m not surprised, it is a beautiful part of the world.”
The town has historic good looks thanks to its Norman castle and its Georgian streets. Sitting on the edge of Swaledale, it is surrounded by beautiful countryside and riverside walks. Amenities include pubs, restaurants, independent shops, good schools, a theatre, an 18-hole golf course, swimming pool and cricket ground. A new Lidl supermarket is due to open and the Princes Gate complex at nearby Catterick has shops and a cinema. House prices reflect Richmond’s popularity with local people making up 70 per cent of buyers and 30 per cent of buyers moving from elsewhere.
The town attracts a large number of ex-army personnel who retire to Richmond thanks to fond memories of visiting it during their time stationed at Catterick. “Most recently we have had a few buyers from France, two from America and some from Scotland, mostly concerned about the political and economic climate in their adopted countries,” says Richard Thompson.
The cheapest properties on the market are one-bedroom flats for £60,000. For those who want their own front door, there is a one-bedroom cottage on Bargate with Norman F. Brown for £89,000. The most expensive home for sale is the magnificent, seven-bedroom Maison Dieu, marketed by Knight Frank with a price tag of £1.795m. The grade II listed house has views of Easby Abbey and the River Swale.
If you can’t afford that kind of family home, there are semis from £180,000. There are also a couple of plots for would-be self-builders. A site on Reeth Road for £120,000 and another on Quarry Road for £179,000 are both for sale with Marcus Alderson. Those who fancy a lifestyle change might consider a five-star rated guest house on Queens Road. At £550,000 with Marcus Alderson, it has potential to convert into a boutique hotel, which may go down very well with visitors to the promised designer outlet.